Batch 6,000
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Batch 6,000Batch 6,000
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American Barleywine
4.35 | pDev: 8.74%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Batch 6,000Batch 6,000
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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 183
Photo of Sigmund
3.33/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Shared 355 ml bottle at local tasting. Very dark brown colour, low tan head. Intense aroma of molasses and oak. Very sweet flavour, loads of molasses, alcohol and oak, some bitterness. Impressive, but not really my cup of tea.

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Photo of jera1350
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown with an unusually large amount of sediment in the bottom of the glass. Guessing it's yeast, but there is about a tablespoon or two of it. Short head, fair lacing.

Wet grain, fairly hoppy, fruit, fig, raisin, plum.

Wow, still packs a punch after all this time. Warm booze, sticky sweetness, still a big hop punch. Ends with fruit and some toasty sweetness. Burnt sugar perhaps.

Low carbonation as expected, full body, mildly slick, clean finish.

Really surprised at how forward the flavors are in this after so long. Really a nice beer.

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Photo of jegross2
3.09/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing Batch 6,000 from Bell's Brewery out of Michigan.
Score: 70

2003 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 08/18/12.

Appearance: Dark chocolate color with brown to coffee fade. No head. Minimal oily lacing and really poor retention. 3/5

Smell: Caramel, raisin, and fruity malt. Not very complex. There is a faint hint of oxidation. 4/5

Taste: Huge doses of sweet malt, brown sugar, caramel malt and plum. There is a hint of cocoa too. The finish is loaded with bitter, "warm" oxidized cardboard flavor that kills the upfront flavor of the beer. No hop flavor whatsoever. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, no carbonation. Malty sweet and "warm" on the tongue from the oxidation. 3.5/5

Overall: This beer is clearly past it's prime. From it's residual profile, I never would have guessed this used to be a hoppy American barleywine. I was glad to finally get a chance to tick this beer, but I wish I would have been able to do it a year or two ago.

Recommendation: Skip this beer, it's past its prime.

Pairings: Cherries.

Cost: $17.99 for a six pack.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bell's during Eccentric Day

Served in a snifter. Cloudy molten caramel color. The body is murky nearly unfiltered ciderish in appearance. Very minimal oatmeal colored head as the beer gets to the table. Moderate amount of lacing left clinging to the glass.

Huge aroma, very malt forward and this point. Deep caramel, burnt sugars and toffee aromas pour from the glass. Bits of bready malt lay just behind. Brown sugar and raisin can be noted. There is a bit of a lingering candied pineapple aroma from the hops.

The flavors mimic the smells rather well. Heavy malt sweetness, dark sugars and dark fruit. The slight hop flavor present comes off with a bit of sweet pineapple. The bitterness is noticeable but very much subdued. Very little heat and booziness noted.

Full bodied, thick Barleywine. Carbonation is on the lower end. Very chewy texture, the finish is on the longer side, very enjoyable.

I was very glad to see this on tap during Eccentric Day. This beer has held up very well. Flavors have melded together beautifully. While the malt has become dominant it does not become overwhelming. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! markwise does it again with a beer that has been on my wants list since I joined ratebeer more than 5 years ago. Very cool. 12oz bottle, with gross looking muddy black inner bottle cap, pours amber – ruby – red with tan head. The aroma is musty aged pine hops, spicy hops, sludgy malts and a mild level of caramel off in the background. The taste is muted yet bold and thick. It tosses up pine hops that swing around the palate for a while before timid notes of spicy hops and musty sticky malts attempt to be heard. Still firmly pine hop forward flavor for this well aged beer. What is this, 7 or 8 years old by now? Great treat for sure.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown. Reddish Hues. Light white head. Looks gorgeous. Smells malty and oxidize. Pretty nice taste. Roasty rich, very nice. Goodmouthfeel. Definitely a bit bitter... Overall, boozy, bitter, oxidized, but a solid enjoyable beer. Definitely would try this again

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a bunch cam.

A- deep mahogany brown. Some red hints. No real head

S - raisin and oxidation. Big malts.

T - dry coffee and barley wine flavors. Bit of raisin and oxidation. Quite tasty and complex for an oldy.

M - big and thick. Very smooth. Nice

O - yeah this is good. Surprisingly so for an old guu

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Photo of JLeege
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6,000 – Bottled Nov 2003 – Drank right now.

Appearance- Pours out a muddy brown color with a small off white head. A good amount of particles floating around.

Smell- Impressive, smells like a deep rich Barleywine. Caramel, toffee, raisons, figs, cherry; tons of dark fruit. Some brown sugar and toasted bread, and a little wave of smoke even. Hops have all but faded in this particular bottle.

Taste- Follows the nose very well. Picking up all the same flavors (no need to type them again), plus there is some chocolate towards the finish and even a little piney sided hops. Very sweet, but not cloying at all.

Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous. A big time sipper, but it drinks very well. Only a tiny hint of alcohol noticed on the finish.

Overall- This is the only time I have had this beer, so I have no means of comparison, but it has obviously aged extremely well. Beers like this are giving me very high hopes for my steadily growing cellar. If you have a chance to try this beer, do it!

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Photo of seeswo
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cannot believe this 7 year old beer is still a bit hoppy. This is an American barleywine through and through. Maybe a bit of booziness remains, but this drinks mostly smooth. Quite drinkable and a solid medium mouthfeel. Smells of faded hops and a bit of plums or figs or other dark fruit. Still has a reasonable amount of carbonation (for the style) with a vigorous pour. Taste of faded, but still present hops and the smooth familiar flavors typical to barleywine. Would love to have been able to try this a few years ago to compare, but this beer held up great.

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Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours a light tan head. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Toffee, plums, raisins, cherries, and caramel. It seems as if the 'American' part has faded off. Not too big of a hop presence.

Taste: Sweet and overly malty. A lot similar to the aroma. Pretty much all malts showing and no hops. Very sweet. Chocolate, tobacco, dark fruits showing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warming. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends rich and malty.

Overall, this was a well aged bwine with lots of great flavors. It was slow drinking but enjoyable. I would have loved to try this fresh and see how hoppy it once was.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark amber color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of apples, raisins, dark fruit, caramel malts, and hints of sugar and vanilla. Great smell.

t - Tastes of faded fruity hops, and a little bit bitter. Also some sugar, dark fruits, and caramel malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink for 10.5% ABV.

d - I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Some people at the tasting thought it had faded a lot, and I personally don't see if getting better with age, but I thought it was very enjoyable and smelled amazing. If I was sitting on some bottles of this I would drink them now, and would love to try it again.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at city tap house during the bells event to end all events.

A- small cap of tan head atop an orange bronze glowing brew.

S- deep caramel and toffee with some toasted bread and a hint of fruit. Touches of hops deep in the bach ground.

T- wow 6000 is no joke. Lots of the caramel and toffee with brown sugar bruleed peaches. Toasted honey whole wheat bread. Hints of hops bring some bitterring to the layers of sweetness.

M- almost full bodied and a surprising amount of carb from this 7 year old barley wine.

D- very nice. I'm super interested what this was like new. I'm amazingly lucky to have had this and more then one in fact. Life is good in philly during beer week. Hell its always good if you take the time to appreciate it.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6000 on tap at City Tap House for Philly Beer Week. I love this city! Thanks Larry. From my newly accuired Bell's tasting notes pad.

The liquid on 6 triple O has a dark bronze look with some orange highlights and hazy copper spots, looks kinda thick in the glass. A bit of a glow up to some light with burnt redness. A semi dark tan foam on the top leaving one clum of lace on the glass.

I know this is a big barleywine, but this still has some punch, the smell is kinda big. Im seeing big caramel and toffee, slight werthers original quality. There is a hop nose on this 7 year old that beats some fresh east coast IPA's, wow this is big. Some booze soaked plums, slight port and dark fruit. Reminds me of the inside of a brewery and the light version of Fred From The Wood.

A nice sweet malty appeal with fresh caramel/toffee mix backed by a bisquit punch. Hoppy in the dry hopped way, muted but still tasted. Dark fruits like plums light er fruits like apriot. Some small pine and grapefruit in the back, minimal. A splash of chocolate and even faded cherry. Plums in the back followed by small alochol.

6000 is above medium with a nice sprint of carb to keep shit in check, pretty malty, semi fruity, not highly csrbed but crisp with a smooth ride considering the ABV. I enjoyed the hell out of this. It's big beer, but I did it up with ease, a treat.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice chestnut color with ruby highlight, faint head and lacing. Scent is actually very hop aggressive due to being dry-hopped and takes some whiffs before it cuts to a very smooth and creamy carmel, prune and roasted nut scent. Taste is smooth as can be, very hop forward with the mellow yet sweet backbone, slightly boozy. For a 7 year old beer, everything still tastes really fresh. Creamy, smooth and a dry finnish. A welcomed opportunity.

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Photo of corby112
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark chatnut that is completely opaque with faint yellowish bronze hues when held to a light source and a frothy one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Not much in the way o lacing.

Sweet, slightly roasty leathery malt aroma with hintsnof caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast and biscuit. There is some nice alcohol sweetness in the nose and surprisngly the hops have held up(in the aroma at least).

Slghtly chewy medium body that is surprisingly still hop forward considering that this was brewed in 2003. The 10.5 ABV is decently masked but there is still subtle alcohol sweetness and heat in the finish. Lots of leathery, earthy malt with hints of caramel, chocolate, toffee and bread. Again, the hops have held up surprisingly well adding some earhy dryness and complexity. This beer has held up wonderfully and I can see it continuing to improve for a few more years.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Lee - thanks man! Served in a FoBAB mini-pint glass.

A - A late-rising quarter-finger of tan foam that dissipates to a light haze and ring. There's some spotty lacing as well. Murky raisin-colored body, with some suspended solids. Not much of a looker.

S - Potent barleywine aroma - not sure why this is listed as an old ale when the bottle says barleywine. Tons of raisins, dark fruits, caramels, chocolate, burnt brown sugar, and bread. Quite mellow at this stage, but not overly oxidized - maybe a touch of sherry, but no cardboard.

T - Nice residual bitterness - I guess all those Nelson Sauvin hops ended up somewhere! Very similar to the aroma, with a plethora of caramel, toffee, chocolate, cherries, burnt sugars, and bread. I'm not getting the citrus mentioned by other reviews, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised after 6+ years.

M - Low carbonation, sticky, thick, viscous, and chewy. Not much heat anymore. Very nice!

D - I'd definitely have been happy to drink all 12oz on my own, but it's a sipper and not something where I'd be pounding down copious quantities.

I'm thoroughly impressed with the aging process in these big Bell's beers. I'm now curious to see if I can dig up some of the earlier vintages and discover what they may hold.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex (Masterski) for breaking out this old-timer. Poured from 12oz bottle into '08 FoBAB glass.

A - Pours a chocolate brown with a tan head. A thin hint of a cap remains but otherwise, it's all beer and nothing much.

S - Chocolate-covered cherries, dark fruit, cinnamon.

T - Milk chocolate, sweet cherries, subtle alcohol. This has cellared exceptionally's awesome and extremely complex. A creamy finish with a slight bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth, and rich.

D - I'm impressed by this one after not exactly knowing what to expect. I would really like to score some of this stuff but I don't think it's gonna happen considering that this one came out back in 2003. A winner, no doubt about it.

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Photo of waltonc
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in a trade a couple months ago. This is probably the oldest beer I've ever drank in terms of aging. Never had this fresh.

A: Deep amber/dark brown, hazy, almost murky color. Thick tan head.

S/T:Pretty strong scent here that's hard to describe. I think the most significant notes I'm detecting in both the taste and smell are the dark fruits - raisin, fig, date type stuff. Also some sweet caramel. From reading old reviews, it sounds like this used to have a lot of hops in it. Those have all mellowed out considerably. There's an odd note here that I am guessing is from oxidation. I know people describe the flavors as wet cardboard and sherry. I have never consumed wet cardboard or sherry, so don't have much basis for comparison. (nor am I sure how moistening card board makes it taste different from dry cardboard, but anyway...) I suppose this odd component of the flavor profile can be chalked up to these characteristics.

M: Very thick body, sticky, sweet, with medium carbonation.

D: High ABV and very rich character make this a sipper and one is enough in a session. Seems like this is Third Coast Old Ale on steroids. Overall an excellent beverage. I think if it weren't quite so old that my smell and taste scores would be 4.5s.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Gravity Head in March 2008.

Poured clear ruby color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly diminished with fair lacing.

Heavy dark tart fruit and alcohol aroma.

Medium to full body with a tingly sticky texture.

Heavy complex dark fruit flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish that was long lasting.

This is a standout complex beer.

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Photo of hopdog
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottles acquired in multiple trades.

Poured a deeper reddish / brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits, caramel, nuts, toffee, and some nuttiness. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, chocoalte, woody, and roasted malts. Light alcohol in the finish. This one is aging nicely!

Notes from 11/25/07

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Photo of Atron67
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a big dark brown, almost dirty brown color. looks clear but its dark enough its really hard to tell. a small head built up then immediately fell back down. standard head you would expect for such an old beer and even more for the style/abv.

S- very malty, slight sherry characteristics. cinnnamon and clove character. hop character is sedated and pretty much gone. the scents come off as pretty sweet.

T- strong malt characteristics all over the place. the cinnamon.clove character picks up and is very strong. idk if its the age or what but the spice is quite strong and much stronger than i would like toffee and vanilla are pretty prevalent, although the malt backbone is expertly done, and really smooth. lignering sweetness on the tongue, however it is much more balanced then you would have expected from the nose. kind of a light port characteristics, but not the oxidized part.

M- thick creamy, fine carbonation, lingering sticky malts on the tongue

D- pretty intense beer, strong malts and flavor all around

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Photo of drxandy
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Crunchy's in East Lansing, MI 7/28/08
Pours a reddish amber brown, thin from alcohol but still heavy, creamy tan head.. mm

smells of malts and deep charecter, alcohol is still hot but not overwhelming, smells fantastic

tastes of sweet smooth caramelized malt, smooth hot alcohol in the finish, very heavy and a nice complexly balanced choice of flavors - amazing!

mouthfeel is smooth, hot, lingering goodness - makes me wish i had bottles in my cellar :D

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Photo of badbeer
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown with red hues. Off white head that leaves bits of lacing. Hops are fading, but still present. Caramel sweetness and toffee with what's left of the piney hops coming together for a wonderful smell. A small amount of oxidation comes through, some sherry, sweet malt, and still a little bit of pine in the taste. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Really good beer that is still holding up great. I'm glad I've gotten to try this at the Great Taste and that hey_kevin shared a bottle of it; wish I had some of my own.

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Photo of prototypic
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's reddish-amber in color. Head was off-white and about two fingers. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Initially, it's citrusy sweet (grapefruit) and hoppy. Spices creep in (a little clove and cinammon). Caramel-toffee malts smell sweet and seem to balance it out. Alcohol is noticeable on the tail.

Taste: Citrus flavors (mostly grapefruit) are sweet and a little bitter. It is somewhat spicy. Hops kick in and provide a slight bitter factor. Caramel-toffee malts add more sweetness and balance out the hops. It is very well-balanced. Slight alcohol burn on the way down.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied to thick. Carbonation is very good. It is strong and a bit limited in drinkability. Nonetheless, this is a very smooth, fine tasting beer. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of mcallister
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Luckily I was able to get into the Bell's tasting at Brew's cafe and help set up and sneak in some reviews unscathed before the event started. Poured into a Bell's stout glass.

This is what a old ale should look like. Dark mahagonny and barely transluscent with a thick tan colored head reminiscent of whipped cream.

Possibly the best BW I've stuck my nose in. Cinnamon and brown sugar reduced with figs and golden raisins. Hints of oxidation show through to an burst of bing cherry. Candied covered citrusy hop aromas waft through the room.

Thick and creamy with a hop induced bitter ending. Large quantities of hop still antagonizing the tastebuds. Finish is looong. So complex and juicy and full of dried candied fruits. Fig paste, half ripen dates, brown sugar, nutty flavors and some peach and citrus from the hops. Prune follows through on the long creamy finish. Things I would do to have this whenever I could.

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Batch 6,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 183 ratings